Urgent need for a sustainable water policy in Malta – AD
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When addressing the environmental conference on water organised by the Church Environment Commission and the Malta Water Association, Alternattiva Demokratika Chairperson Michael Briguglio spoke about the urgent need for the implementation of a sustainable water policy in Malta.
“We are in a situation where the majority pay their utility bills, whilst others steal water from boreholes. There is an urgent need to stop the illegal extraction of water through unauthorised boreholes. Such extraction is forcing the Water Services Corporation to rely heavily on reverse osmosis and is, in itself, a contribution to the rates that are charged for water. Reverse osmosis plants consume a lot of energy, and increased dependency on such plants is risky, for example if an oil spill occurs. Malta only has facilities for 48 hours water storage.”
“Malta has 8,000 private boreholes, extracting ground water for various uses, including water for soft drinks, animal husbandry, manufacturing industry, concrete batching plants, swimming pools, agriculture, lawns and private gardens – making it probably the country with the highest borehole density in the world. Borehole usage is unsustainable, and if current trends persist, this resource will no longer be available in around 15 years time, due to the infiltration of sea water in the water table. In turn, Malta will be overdependent on reverse osmosis plants.”
“The water issue is ultimately an issue of environmental justice, social justice and economic good-sense. How could it be that such a scarce resource is being treated as if it had unlimited supply, and how come those who are grabbing it for free are being rewarded for doing so?”
Michael Bajada will speak on behalf of AD on the environment in Gozo next Saturday.